Peachtree Academy reveled in its successes following back-to-back state championship wins in 2018 and 2019. However, the Panthers have been unable to replicate this success in subsequent years, having lost in the Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools’ Final Four postseason round and ran around .500, record-wise, afterward.
However, head coach Jim Eidson is looking to improve and build off the foundation set last season. The Panthers were a young, inexperienced team in 2021 and looked to grow this offseason.
“We’re hoping that the youth have grown up a little bit and matured,” Eidson said. “We’ve hit the weight room harder this year. We hope we have some growth in that respect. We’ll find out what the difference is between last season and this season on Friday nights.”
Work ethic is the primary source of strength for some of the primetime players for the Panthers, such as senior running back Dylan Pitts, junior lineman Dominic Sampson and senior receivers Kore Haynes, Justin Kearns and Luke Patterson.
Entering his third season at the helm of Panther football, Eidson wants to establish a new culture of players working hard for the team and finding a starting spot on the team.
“We’re trying to figure out some different spots where players are going to be and find some homes for our guys,” Eidson said. “I am of the belief that every spot is earned every week. After we play a game on Friday nights, you lose your starting spot until it’s earned for the next week. That’s our philosophy.”
Eidson is hoping that making players earn their spot week in and week out will light a spark under his team. In order to make it back to championship form from previous seasons, Eidson believes challenging both themselves and their opponents will lead them in that direction.
“We want to attack our opponents, instead of them attacking us,” Eidson concluded.